QTopo

Queensland specific bushwalking discussion.
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Queensland specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Re: QTopo

Postby Lyrebird » Fri 25 Sep, 2020 7:53 pm

I remember when I was a fair bit younger thoroughly enjoying trying to follow the trail at O'Reillys between Lyrebird Lookout and the Main Track.

IIRC the track that runs parallel to the Border Track is still technically a road easement, though there'd be a nuclear reaction if they ever tried to develop it :lol:. Small world isn't it; that's where I taught myself to navigate with a map and compass in the mid 1990s, prior to affordable GPS and mobiles that worked in places like that. It's also where I learned that no matter how smart you are, you can't follow the sun in rain forest, at least not if you want to end up anywhere near where you planned to. Fortunately I'd taught myself properly and made it out, very late and suitably chastened.

I've found the little 30s era track signs a few times, there are at least two sets. As you say coimon, these days there's enough tape to land a small aircraft :roll:.
Apologies for the drift down memory lane...
The days before liability became such a big issue, hey?

Government (and particularly Parks) liability was supposed to be limited by the Ipp Report reforms and resulting Civil Liability Acts in the early 2000s, but I think a lot of pollies and senior public servants still get spooked by it. Possibly for legitimate reasons; I've not kept up with the case law and maybe people are still successfully suing the government for their own ineptitude. Again, I think the new upfront signage is a step in the right direction. Unless you walk in with a bag over your head there is no possible way you can enter the YP trailhead and not see the sign. Parks have taken all reasonable steps to warn people of the risks, and IIRC that's all the new(ish) Act requires them to do.
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Re: QTopo

Postby dalehikes » Mon 28 Sep, 2020 12:11 pm

Lyrebird wrote:
IIRC the track that runs parallel to the Border Track is still technically a road easement, though there'd be a nuclear reaction if they ever tried to develop it :lol:. Small world isn't it; that's where I taught myself to navigate with a map and compass in the mid 1990s, prior to affordable GPS and mobiles that worked in places like that. It's also where I learned that no matter how smart you are, you can't follow the sun in rain forest, at least not if you want to end up anywhere near where you planned to. Fortunately I'd taught myself properly and made it out, very late and suitably chastened.


I have fairly recently traced the easements distance. There are two distinct sections, 1st section from the end of the bitumen to the forestry camp and 2nd from forestry camp to Albert track (which was a portion of the border track that paralleled the Pensioner track).

The 1st section has sporadic tape and abruptly changes direction fairly regularly. It is quite overgrown and a much slower option that just using the border track. There is very little actual hint at a trail anymore, just the tape on the trees.

The 2nd section is rather easier and still acts as a shortcut to the Albert track. A small party could brush and clean this section back to graded level in a day! At the moment a high number of palm fronds over the track make it quite scratchy. Very easy to follow.

Good choice in area to practice nav Lyrebird. The area is great for Nav practive as it is very well bounded by features and graded track so you are never too far away from a navigation handrail to follow!
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Re: QTopo

Postby MattS » Fri 09 Oct, 2020 10:09 am

Speaking of road casements, one of the bugbears we've had with QTopo is with the roads data we use there are many instances of "paper roads" being shown - that is road casements where no physical road exists but is still recorded as an open road in the data. The road from O'Reillys to the border is a good example of this (I actually didn't know this was shown in QTopo until this conversation!). Hopefully with new management practices coming online for that dataset, errors like these will be much reduced in the future.
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Re: QTopo

Postby Lyrebird » Fri 09 Oct, 2020 2:11 pm

Interesting. Is the plan to stop showing unformed gazetted roads? Personally I find them quite interesting, though admittedly I'm a map nerd. They've certainly led to some disagreements between landowners and hikers over the years, as documented on this forum.
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Re: QTopo

Postby dalehikes » Fri 09 Oct, 2020 3:28 pm

I should have added that I ran into some lost folk in the bush around the road easement at O'Reilly's. Their only comment was "are we near a road". Nope. They were following a QTopo map.

Also, just last weekend I was on the Stretcher Track right near the Point Lookout end and passed a group that on conversation had expected to be following a well defined track on the stretcher track. It was mid afternoon and they expected to be camping at the base of Running Creek falls that night... (from the spot we passed them that would be about 7-8 hours walk). We advised them that they wouldnt make it and there was a decent camp site for them a couple hours away. Hopefully they ended up having an enjoyable hike...
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Re: QTopo

Postby Lyrebird » Fri 09 Oct, 2020 8:31 pm

Further backing my theory that some people shouldn't be let out of the house unsupervised. Remember the people who drove their car off a jetty into Moreton Bay because google said there was a road there? Sounds similar.

Maybe they could be shown in a greyed out, dotted or other format that clearly delineates them from real roads; or maybe people could have a look at the big, unavoidable, coloured sign at the start of the Border Track with the official tracks marked on it.

There's so much information online these days that it saddens me people aren't taking advantage of it. Anyway, sounds like the decision has been made, and given your experiences dalehikes, that's probably not a bad thing.
Hopefully they ended up having an enjoyable hike...

They didn't feature on the channel 9 news, so presumably they did...
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Re: QTopo

Postby nevw » Mon 09 Nov, 2020 1:21 pm

QTopo for Garmin as kmz maps

I zoomed in to the QTopo map at https://qtopo.information.qld.gov.au/ to the 1:10,000 map and download the pre-generated maps:
Topo Map
Image Topo Map (with satellite imagery)

QGIS has a GarminCustomMap plugin which is installed from the Plugins menu and exports the current map canvas to a .kmz-file, which is compatible with Garmin`s Custom Maps format for handheld GPS units.
I used it to convert the Topo and ImageTopo to kmz suitable for my eTrex and put in the /Garmin/CustomMaps folder on my sd card.

When I used the full extent of the the current map canvas on the Topo the eTrex displayed the kmz Topo from 300m zoom and closer and seemed fine but was a bit blurry very close.
When I zoomed in on QGIS and sent a smaller area of the Topo to the eTrex, it displayed the kmz Topo from 120m zoom.
The full extent Topo Map to the kmz seemed fine for me.
I loaded a gpx track to view on the kmz Topo and it was fine.
Perhaps if I waited longer the map may have displayed at other ranges.

For my etrex I accepted the defaults displayed and changed to a zoom factor of 9.9

The plugin allows anything you can display on QGIS (only if correctly projected I guess) to be sent to the Garmin in this manner

QGIS 3.16 eTrex30

Edit:
Tried out the kmz file on Middle Kobble on the 11Nov2020 and found the contour line quite hard to see and blur on very close zooms.
Because they are only geo referenced images this is expected I suppose. Changing to grey scale and increasing contrast may improve readability.
Only able to view the kmz on a few zoom ranges, don't know why...maybe settings in QGIS conversion fix this?
I found that the garmin suitable .img that are offered on this site by andrewp (link below) is much preferred over the kmz I made using QGIS in this particular case as his have good quality contours and the waterways too.
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=28893&hilit=osm
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Re: QTopo

Postby flingebunt » Mon 14 Dec, 2020 3:02 pm

QTOPO is really good, but I have noticed that some of the tracks, and I mean tracks with big gates and government signs on them are missing, for South D'Aguilar National Park (the old Brisbane Forest Park). Not sure how to let anyone know that this is missing.

Yes, I understand that QTOPO uses information from official government sources, which may not always be up-to-date.
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Re: QTopo

Postby dalehikes » Tue 15 Dec, 2020 2:23 pm

flingebunt wrote:QTOPO is really good, but I have noticed that some of the tracks, and I mean tracks with big gates and government signs on them are missing, for South D'Aguilar National Park (the old Brisbane Forest Park).


I think it's important to remember that QTopo is a topography service at its core and not a track map.

I believe QPWS have a comprehensive set of track maps available for State & National Parks, although the modern ones have had a lot of information stripped away which leaves them almost too basic. This in effect created a hole of information that most people need spoon fed to them. That is where Wikiloc and Alltrails have plugged the market so well.

Which brings me to my next point, these independent services shirk responsibility of the information on their websites which allow poor, illegal and damaging tracks and information to be uploaded and followed by loads of uneducated and entitled people who know no better. I believe those websites have damaged the integrity of the hiking community and are eroding away the good will of many private landowners who in the past have been quite friendly with bushwalkers, that now refuse access... /rant
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Re: QTopo

Postby MattS » Mon 21 Dec, 2020 2:52 pm

flingebunt wrote:QTOPO is really good, but I have noticed that some of the tracks, and I mean tracks with big gates and government signs on them are missing, for South D'Aguilar National Park (the old Brisbane Forest Park). Not sure how to let anyone know that this is missing.

Yes, I understand that QTOPO uses information from official government sources, which may not always be up-to-date.


This is most definitely at the forefront of our efforts next year.

Next year, we hope to be working closely with QPWS so that what should appear on map. actually does. Also, the Department of Resources (our new name) will be able to manage our "Roads and Tracks" dataset with greater control. So where (especially in the case of walking trails) we've, by necessity, had to piece together different datasets to try to form a coherent "layer" of information in our maps we should be able to rely on fewer sources to make the maps.

There is an email address on the QTopo site and maps to lodge any errors or omissions, but to save the hassle it's opendata@dnrme.qld.gov.au. Another thing on our radar is to create a more interactive method of lodging these requests.
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Re: QTopo

Postby grunter » Mon 21 Dec, 2020 7:08 pm

Nice to see the Scenic Rim Trail has been highlighted too.
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Re: QTopo

Postby izzeho » Fri 26 Feb, 2021 12:55 pm

This seems as good a place to ask this as anywhere, is it possible from within the web UI to view grid references (or even search by them)? rather than downloading the PDF and doing it on that?

I'm assuming I'm not the only one that spends a lot of time parsing through old track information with grid references trying to line them up with the PDFs.
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Re: QTopo

Postby Equivocator » Fri 26 Feb, 2021 1:47 pm

Map Grids are short hand MGA Grid Co-ords. You can pinpoint MGA Coords in QTopo with the location tool. I don't know of a way to Navigate to specific coordinates though.
https://i.imgur.com/B34fMcx.png

Depending on how old the Track Information is (Pre-2000, they might be on AMG66... which is a ~200m shift.
Should note that it's now, as of late last year, on GDA2020 (Previously GDA94) but that's only ~1.5 meters change (North-East) and you likely wouldn't notice that in the bush...
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Re: QTopo

Postby izzeho » Fri 26 Feb, 2021 4:08 pm

Ah excellent! I don't think I would have ever found the hover-over to change to grid coords without the screenshot, thanks!

I'd say it's 50/50 old standard and new standard, thanks for the heads up about that as well.
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Re: QTopo

Postby dalehikes » Tue 02 Mar, 2021 8:15 am

Is anyone else a bit annoyed at the current mobile formats of QTopo with regards to zero map overlap at the state borders?

The topo data used to overlap and display important info on the NSW side, current format just has white space.

With the border area being a popular hiking destination, its a bit annoying having to switch between two map layers to get an understanding of the land...
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Re: QTopo

Postby Equivocator » Thu 04 Mar, 2021 7:58 am

Sorry Dale, might have to say how you're viewing the data? Or take a screen shot?
I rarely look at it on my mobile (I mostly just use online for planning and sometimes print from there) but I just booted it up on my mobile and it looks fine on my end.

https://i.imgur.com/gr7KBhj.jpg
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Re: QTopo

Postby dalehikes » Thu 04 Mar, 2021 8:40 am

I view QTopo with Australia Topo Maps on a Pixel 5. See attached...
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Screenshot_20210304-083536.png
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Re: QTopo

Postby Equivocator » Mon 08 Mar, 2021 8:45 am

Oh that would be a problem, just installed and played with the Australia Topo Maps app and the same thing happened to me. Might be worth shooting the App makers a message and seeing if they could fix how it displays the Qtopo maps.
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Re: QTopo

Postby MattS » Wed 10 Mar, 2021 2:42 pm

I can only guess they a using a slightly different map service than what we use for the QTopo app/maps. There is a service that we generate for Queensland Globe / Qld Spatial Catalogue in which we do not use data provided by other state agencies. The two are identical save for that distinction.

If you visit https://qtopo.information.qld.gov.au/ using a mobile device you will see coverage into NSW, SA and NT.
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